Applying grain filler on hardwoods will result in a smoother finish.
When finishing hardwoods, you have the option of leaving the pores open or filling them. Although it’s an optional step, filling the pores can create an elegant, glass-smooth surface in the final finish. In this section, I’ll discuss the aesthetics of pore-filling and the various techniques involved in achieving the look you want.
Pores are the result of vessels that conduct sap in a living hardwood tree. (Softwoods are “nonporous.”) When a board is milled from a hardwood tree, these vessels are cut open at various angles, exposing the channels we call pores. Finishers generally differentiate between hardwoods by calling them “open-pored” or “closed-pored” woods. Open-pored woods such as oak and ash exhibit large-diameter pores that result in a rough texture on the surface of the board. Closed-pored woods such as maple and cherry have a smoother texture, although pores are distinguishable…